SL17B Meet Patch Linden – a summary with video and audio

via Linden Lab
On Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 at the SL17B celebrations, the second of five Meet the Lindens sessions was held, featuring Patch Linden, the Lab’s Vice President of Product Operations.

The following is a summary of the session covering the core topics raised, with selected audio extracts. The notes provided have been taken directly from the official video of the session, which is embedded at the end of this article. Time stamps to the video are also provided for ease of reference.

Note that this is a summary, not a full transcript, and items have been grouped by topic, so may not be presented chronologically when compared to the video.

Audio extracts, where included, have been cleaned-up and balanced to remove pauses, repetitions, etc.

Table of Contents

In places, information that is supplementary to Patch’s comments is provided in square braces (.i.e. [ and ]) are used in the body text below to indicate where this is the case.

A Note about the New Linden Homes Theme Announcement

The session included discussion (notably in the last 15 minutes) on the new Linden Homes theme unveiled at SL17B immediately after Patch’s Meet the Linden Session. These elements of the session are not reported here simply because people can now see the theme for themselves. Instead, I refer readers to Second Life: looking at the new Linden Homes Stilt theme in this blog.

The Linden Stilt Home preview region at SL17B – see Second Life: looking at the new Linden Homes Stilt theme for more

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About Patch

  • Originally a Second Life resident and business owner who joined the platform in 2004, and became a Linden in 2007.
  • Initially worked as a support agent and then as a support liaison. From there he moved to the Concierge team, eventually becoming that team’s manager.
  • Shifted focus to the role of Operations Support Manager for a year, then moved to the Product group, the team responsible for defining the features, etc., found within Second Life.
  • At Product he developed the Land Operations team, which includes the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW).
  • In 2018, he established the company’s support office in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • In 2020 he oversaw the move to larger office space in Atlanta, although the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic means the new premises have yet to be used.
  • In 2019 he was promoted to Vice President, Product Operations, and joined the Lab’s management team alongside Grumpity and Oz Linden (see: Linden Lab’s management team expands: congrats to Grumpity, Patch and Oz).
  • Together with Grumpity and Oz, he forms what Grumpity calls the “troika” overseeing Second Life’s continued development.
  • In his management team role, Patch continues to oversee all of the Lab’s user support operations (some 5 teams), including the LDPW.
  • Despite his longevity at the Lab, his is not the longest-serving Linden, nor is he the “oldest” resident-turned-Linden.

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Working with the Pandemic

[Video: 3:07-4:48]

  • His teams have not really been impacted by the pandemic. LL is a remote-friendly company.
  • As a result the company has always thought outside of the box in leveraging their own product as a work tool – running team meetings in-world, etc., – as well as running more “traditional” tools like Slack, Discord, etc.
  • Patch himself started at the Lab as a remote employee, and worked as such for around a decade prior to developing the Atlanta office.

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What are the Most Significant SL Changes You’ve Seen?

[Video: 5:19-8:17]

  • Changes in avatar appearance – particularly when looking back at old snapshots.
  • The arrival of different types of new content.
  • Adding Voice to Second life [2007], which was probably one of the “bigger ground-breaking changes for Second Life as a virtual world”.
  • Admits to have probably having forgotten more than he can remember, and even today is still learning – such as only recently discovering the ability to completely disable the viewer’s UI in world view [CTRL-SHIFT-U (or ALT-SHIFT-U for Firestorm) – also toggles the UI back on].

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Bakes on Mesh and Personal Business

[Video: 8:27-9:40]

  • As a resident, used to run a fashion business for male avatars.
  • Still has the inventory, but has not updated the clothing styles in years.
  • Has “tinkered” with Bakes on Mesh to see if it works with his system clothing designs, but does not intend to convert them for use with Bakes on Mesh and flood the market, as styles now too old.
  • Has found the “playing” with Bakes on Mesh to see what does / doesn’t work with older system clothing to be interesting.

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Bellisseria and Linden Homes

What is the Most Popular Linden Home Theme?

[Video: 11:21-13:05]

  • Probably the Victorian theme, although the Log and Houseboat themes run it a close second.
  • It’s hard to separate into “most popular” as the demand for all of the themes has been equal. For example, even through the Traditional theme are currently fully occupied [and presumably no plans for further deployments at this time] – there is still demand for them.
  • The 4,400 introductory release of Log Homes was filled quickly. Since then, the Monday / Wednesday / Friday region releases have been taken up almost as soon as they are made available.

Plans to Link Continents / Retire Old Linden Homes

[Video: 13:13-16:03]

  • [Note: Bellisseria already now links Sansara and Joegeot.]
  • As the Linden Home continent(s) continue(s) to be built out and possibly be split up for diversity), then it / they may well continue to connect continents.
  • However, as this is done, LL wants to ensure that continents are connected where it makes sense to do so.
  • Overall plan is that as the new continent(s) gain occupancy, to eventually start shutting down the old Linden Home mini continents or at least compressing them, to free-up resources.
  • This point hasn’t quite been reached, as there is still occupancy across the mini continents either because people are waiting to try to obtain a new home of their choice, or because they may not actually be aware of the new home, depending on their log-in frequency.
  • However, even with the old style Linden Homes being retired in time, their themes may not necessarily be forgotten.

Was the Popularity of the New Homes Anticipated?

[Video: 18:04-20:16]

  • Knew they were going to be “super popular”, so tried to put out as much as possible without overly delaying the project as a whole.
  • Striking the balance is hard: on the one hand, foreknowledge of popularity dictates making a bigger initial offering – but how big? On the other, delaying the deployment means sitting on something that people could otherwise be enjoying.
  • As it was, in April 2019, he felt there was sufficient quality and options in home to launch the product. This has allowed LL / LDPW to continue to improve the overall process of provisioning and deploying Linden Homes.
  • This is reflected in the major release cadence from 700-1,000 in initial releases to 2,800 and then 4,400. When it comes, the Stilt Homes initial release will likely be 4,000-5,000 units.

Continue reading “SL17B Meet Patch Linden – a summary with video and audio”

Second Life: looking at the new Linden Homes Stilt theme

The new linden Stilt Homes (r-l) Tortuga, Havana and 2-storey Lauderdale

On Tuesday, June 23rd, while speaking at the SL17B Meet the Lindens event, Patch Linden announced the next theme of Linden Home that is being lined up for release: Stilt Homes, designed to be placed in coastal setting, their stilts allowing them to sit on land, over water or between the two.

Once available – the new houses are currently only available for preview at SL17B – will again come in four styles, and will occupy 1024 sq m parcels. When they are released, they will become the sixth type of new Linden Homes to be made available over the last 18 months, with two further themes already in preparation.

The new theme is … stilt homes. They take their inspiration from south-eastern US geographical areas that basically are Floridian shore-side stilt home communities that tend to pop-in in low-lying and potentially even hurricane prone areas. Generally, they’re fairly brightly coloured; they have fairly good-sized open concept floor designs, and we’re going to offer them in three different variants. There will be an over water variant of the home, a partial version of the home that could rest over land and water. and there will be an inland version of the home, all on stilts no matter what because – you know – when the hurricane comes though you certainly don’t want to be on the ground when the flooding happens!

– Patch Linden, SL17B, describing the new Linden Home theme

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The new theme comprises the following styles of home:

The Lauderdale: a two-floor unit with two large down stairs rooms, open with front door opening to a full length front porch with roof over, and sliding doors to the rear opening to a rear deck-come-dock. Central stairs lead up to an enclosed landing area with bedrooms either side, one with views to the front and rear, and the other with views to the front and side and sliding doors to a large verandah with roof over at the rear of the house.

The Havana: is single-storey 3-roomed, cross-shaped house with central front-to-back room providing access to front covered porch and rear covered deck. One side room also offers access to the deck-come-dock, and with windows to front and side aspect. Remaining room has windows to front, rear and side aspects.

The Santiago: a two-storey house with ½-porch with verandah over to the front, and an open-plan ground floor presenting space for two rooms, the larger of which has a bay window to the front and sliding doors to the rear opening onto full length deck, sans dock. A dog-leg staircase leads up to a central landing with sliding doors to the front verandah, and two bedrooms. The first bedroom is a full front-to back room with windows to the front and rear. The second bedroom has windows to the front bay and side aspect, and sliding doors serving a rear private verandah.

The Tortuga: a single-storey house with offset main room to one side with front door to a small covered front porch and sliding doors to the rear deck-come-dock. A second room, also with access to the deck / dock opens off of this, together with windows to the rear / side aspect. A small room sits to the front of the house with windows to the front aspect.

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The theme itself has been a lot of fun to design and develop. We took a lot of plant life from that area and created it to be true to that geographical zone of the United States as well as varying out transportation capabilities between road and dock as well as waterway and such. And the thing I’m particularly excited about is that the home that are over water will marry up to and against regions that are also specific to houseboats. So this is going to give us a new ability to segue from area to area between the stilt homes portions of the continents to also adding on more houseboat regions out and around these continent sections that we’re planning on putting out. 

– Patch Linden, SL17B

A view of an “inland” group of Stilt Homes – Santiago to the left, Lauderdale centre

All four styles of home look like they can be used over land or water; those over land appear to have steps down to the ground from the front porch, with perhaps room to squeeze a car under them. As Patch notes the landscaping is tropical coastal and modelled on that of Florida. The houses with water parcels are either connected by sun washed board walks back to dry land and which can also provide social spaces, or – at least in the demo region – sit entirely surrounded by water, which is an interesting approach.

There is something of the Traditional Homes look to these stilt homes, so much so, that with a casual initial glance, you might be forgiven for thinking that they are “traditional homes on legs”. However, once examined, it becomes clear this similarity is more passing than anything else; something that gives these houses something of a hook into past Linden Homes designs whilst also  – thanks to the large deck spaces and mix of land / water locations – being something completely unique.

The “offshore” Stilt Homes at the SL17B preview region – Havana in the foreground, and Lauderdale towards the centre

Given there desk and docks, the theme also appears to have the largest general footprint of the Linden Home released to date, which might cause problems for those wishing to moor a large type of boat alongside one. Even so, I have to admit that this is the first theme that – once available – might tempt me into giving up my houseboat and trying to snag one that sits in its own “offshore” parcel. Although that said, it would be nice to see a theme that isn’t another aspect of Americana – the rest of the world has house styles to offer, after all!

SLurl to Preview Region

(only available while the SL17B regions are live)